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Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Pro Bowl notes

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Denver receivers coach Adam Gase credited fired coach Josh McDaniels for turning castoff receiver Brandon Lloyd into a Pro Bowl player.

Lloyd is one of the more stunning Pro Bowl stories this season. At 29, Lloyd, who leads the NFL in receiving yards, is having a career year after being a journeyman who was planning to retire from the NFL to be a college football analyst when the Broncos came calling last year. Lloyd was inactive for 14 games in 2009 before this breakout season.

Gase said it was McDaniels who saw Lloyd’s potential.

“I think most of the credit for that has to go to Josh,” Gase said in quotes released by the team. “He had a lot of confidence in (Lloyd) when we brought him in last June. He said, ‘Hey, work with this guy, get him up to speed for training camp,’ and he said, ‘I feel like if this guy is anywhere near where he was coming out [of the draft], if he shows some of the things he did on tape at San Francisco, Chicago, he has a chance to help us.'”

McDaniels will be able to point to Lloyd’s success as he attempts to get an offensive coordinator position in the offseason.

Denver cornerback Champ Bailey is a first Pro Bowl alternate. San Diego left tackle Marcus McNeill (who missed several games due to a holdout) was a second alternate, while San Diego defensive tackle Antonio Garay and linebacker Shaun Phillips were third alternates. Oakland said kicker Sebastian Janikowski, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, tight end Zach Miller and cornerback Darren McFadden were Pro Bowl alternates. The team didn’t give any additional details. The Chiefs’ alternates are unknown. I’d suspect quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Tamba Hali were among their alternates.

An Insider look Insider at how Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers fared without the injured Antonio Gates, who also made the Pro Bowl despite missing nearly half the season with a foot injury.